Re: How did isolation of the USSR mean a bureaucratic takeover?

8th May 2015, 17:05

Originally Posted by tuwix View Post
The model of the revolution chosen by Lenin which means a vanguard party would lead to the same in each circumstances. Lenin tried to do impossible: a build am egalitarian society using an elite. You can't be both elitist and egalitarian. If you try, the elite wins as it happens with all vanguard party movements.
If this is to be taken as true, then we might all very well accept that revolution is an impossibility. Any revolution, that is, the organized political overthrow of the organs of bourgeois state power is doomed to failure if it does not have a "vanguard". A vanguard is nothing more than the politically organized proletarian class, only the opponents of the Bolsheviks have construed to the some kind of elite caste of super-revolutionaries. The vanguard is the proletarian class for itself, rather than in itself (Marx's dichotomy).

One needs to evaluate why the decisions made in Russia and China were made, most of all: If it was possible to have a so-called "revolution from bellow" then why did it not happen? The idea that Bolsheviks were power hungry makes absolutely no sense in that all evidence points to that the role they took was largely appreciated as an arduous burden. The idea that one can build an "egalitarian society" is equally ridiculous. An egalitarian society cannot be built, it is merely consequential of the political predispositions that lead to it - if this egalitarian spirit isn't ideologically manifested in the movement, which even in the most hierarchically regimented political structures it most definitely was, there can be no "egalitarianism". You claim that the existence of vanguard of the proletarian class compromised of the most skilled and dedicated members would lead to another class society, and this demonstrates a stunning ignorance of what constitutes class itself: moreover, the evidence that you provide us is that all countries which had a proletarian vanguard ended up failed revolutions. As any child should know, correlation isn't causation - and there are more variables to be examined that all of these failures had in common that doesn't amount to a 'vanguard' party: Namely, their demographic constitution. In every Communist state, the proletariat were a demographic minority, and in every Communist state save for Russia, Communists took power largely independent of a revolutionary working class movement. So of course state-bureaucratic organs would have to exercise power in a largely non-democratic manner, considering that the peasantry has no inclination to become proletarianized, considering that they had to assume roles otherwise taken by the bourgeoisie in modernizing their respective countries. The fact that they all had a "vanguard party" in common more than anything suggests that they were all adept in seizing the organs of state power, and nothing more.

Because to say otherwise requires the theoretical premise that a "vanguard party" is destined to creating an elite. This premise is wholly unscientific, it is purely ideological. We can critically evaluate why things happened the way they did - we can, for example, comprehensively explain why anarchists have never been able to seize power save for moments of chaos wherein state power collapses on its own. And in those instances, they died nobly as martyrs - simply crushed by those willing to use the organs of state power and military discipline, never burdened with the responsibility of power to be unjustly scolded by some pseudo-leftists decades later. We cannot, however, consistently pass off a critical analysis for "power became centralized in the hands of few" being exercised in the name of the masses without a critical understanding of why this happened. Was it due to the mere existence of a distinguishable "elite" heading the movement alone? Let's use common sense, then. Anything with an iota of experience in dealing with people in general know that a mere mass of people, even if their aims are identical, cannot lead themselves. Skilled organizers, politically adept and people dedicated to the cause beyond their own proximal interests are necessary to embody their interests in. This is true not simply for the proletariat, but for all classes in history, the bourgeoisie today included. Yet the organs of state power, an identifiable force separate from the bourgeoisie, still exercises power on their behalf. Why is this, if your theoretical premise is to be taken seriously? One can argue that it's because the bourgeoisie has an affirmative social character, while only through political state power can the proletariat in any meaningful sense express its interests as a class. The implications from this would be that the proletarian state cannot act in defiance of the interests of the proletariat, and if it can - that would mean that definite proletarian political interests exist independently of 'just' the state (like it can for the bourgeoisie), which means that the so-called dilemma isn't a problem in the first place.

And one requires an understanding of power itself - why would power be exercised independently of the proletarian masses if they're the only basis of its power? Even if we are cynical and claim they're power hungry and so on, how could they exercise power independently of the proletarian base which supports them? Who carries out their tasks? What social basis is their power owed to? And then we draw our conclusion: through the entanglement of the interests of the primarily defeated and slaughtered proletarian demographic minority, and the peasant majority. Power was exercised independently of both, through the political unity of both vested in the state through the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy had no purpose, absolutely no reason to exist besides through exercising the proletarian dictatorship in the conditions that it did - and with a largely absent proletarian social basis, and the lack of an advanced industrial base to feed your population while at the same time defending yourself militarily, economically and politically against a sea of hostile forces around you makes exercising power independently of the interests of the majority of the population an inevitability.

Moreover, however, has it occurred to you that ordinary people in general do not want to rule? Participation in managing their affairs, or the ability to do this when the time comes is of course something desired, but people need mechanisms of power to act for them in one way or another: think about trivial things like sewage, production of paper and so on - do you ACTUALLY think this is something whose function needs to be regularly decided upon en masse? An autonomous process of production, and political rule, is always a necessity when they concern processes that exist beyond your proximity of life. Managers and so on would never be able to constitute a new social class because the ownership of property in common would be guaranteed by the organs of state power.